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What is Marketing?
Rhode Island is home to many colleges and universities that offer degrees in marketing. A highly popular major among students in the United States, the knowledge and skills obtained through instruction and coursework can be applied to almost any industry. These programs are designed to develop abilities related to marketing, advertising, and promotion, which can be valuable in most workplaces. As a result, graduates are generally considered qualified candidates for a wide variety of professions. This type of degree is particularly useful to those who intend to seek jobs that require market research and/or the creation and implementation of promotional campaigns.
In general, marketing professionals identify and utilize a wide variety of strategies and techniques to attract customers and clients. As many companies and organizations across almost every industry require at least some advertising assistance, professionals in this field can find themselves employed by many different kinds of businesses. While this means employment opportunities are often readily available, it can be difficult to define exactly what the job entails. Responsibilities can vary significantly even when profession titles are identical. This is often due to differences in employer size, priorities, and preferences.
While job descriptions will vary, some of the most common responsibilities advertising, promotions, and marketing professionals can expect include:
- Negotiating advertising contracts
- Evaluating prospective campaigns
- Initiating market research
- Analyzing research findings to understand customer preferences
- Developing pricing strategies
- Meeting with and advising clients
- Hiring and overseeing marketing staff
One of the most important expectations for marketing professionals is that they will be able to generate customer interest in products and/or services offered by their employers. This often requires a willingness and ability to collaborate with other workers, especially art directors, advertising sales agents, and financial staff members. These professionals should also be good at organizing events, contests, and/or giveaways.
Because duties can vary so much from job to job, most marketing degree programs are designed to help students develop a wide variety of knowledge and skills that can be applied to almost any working environment. In fact, most curriculums focus on essential concepts in advertising, promotions, and marketing management to ensure graduates are properly prepared. Instruction also enhances basic communications, organization, decision-making, and analytics skills.
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Online Marketing Education in Rhode Island
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is expected to increase by 10% from 2020 to 2030. This is faster than the average for all occupations and will add approximately 35,300 job openings to the market each year. The primary reason for this growth is an increasing demand for professionals capable of creating effective marketing campaigns and the increase in marketing online and through other means. A valuable asset to any company or organization, businesses throughout the nation actively seek individuals with this skill.
It’s worth noting that some areas of the field are expected to decline over time. The need for printed advertisements, for example, is expected to decline sharply as entities utilize online marketing options more frequently. Those involved in the creation and maintenance of digital media campaigns, on the other hand, will fair far better. In fact, prospective professionals in this field will benefit greatly from leaning how to promote information and ideas using websites, social media, and live chats.
Professional and business services are the third largest industry in Rhode Island, accounting for $7.8 billion in revenue each year. Because marketing is an integral part of any business, however, professionals in this field are likely to find employment opportunities in many of the state’s other top sectors. Marketing training and experience can also lead to jobs in real estate, education services, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, wholesale, retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food services, construction, and information.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Rhode Island employed 3,040 market research analysts and marketing specialists in May 2021. The annual mean wage for these professionals locally was $71,980, which is well above the annual mean wage of $62,120 for all occupations in the state.
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation, but there are many online higher education facilities to choose from. Despite this, some prospective students may consider enrolling in distance learning programs offered elsewhere. While online learning allows for more flexible scheduling and makes it easy to complete coursework from nearly anywhere in the world, those who plan to seek employment in Rhode Island might want to give preference to local institutions. These colleges and universities are more familiar with employment in the area, as well as what potential employers look for in graduates. The curriculums they develop are often much more geographically relevant and, as a result, students gain the knowledge and skills covered most by nearby companies and organizations. Additionally, many institutions strive to develop relationships with businesses in the surrounding areas in order to help students and alumni secure internships and jobs more easily.
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While it is sometimes possible to find jobs in marketing without extensive education and training, most professionals in the field do possess degrees of some kind. Prospective students can enroll in associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral programs. It’s also relatively common for colleges and universities to offer undergraduate and graduate certificates that are relevant to the profession. Generally, those with more education have access to the best and most lucrative jobs. Academic requirements vary, however, making it essential to research options thoroughly prior to establishing career goals and enrolling in a degree program.
Online Associate Degree in Marketing (AS)
Online AS degrees in marketing generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Most programs include general liberal arts education requirements, as well as major-specific classes. This means students are likely to receive instruction in many basic subjects such as written communication, math, and social science in order to gain a strong academic foundation for future learning. Students will also receive a broad introduction to the field of marketing. Classes related to their major are likely to focus on developing important communication and customer service skills.
This type of degree is helpful when seeking entry-level employment. Associate programs are generally less expensive and allow graduates to enter the workforce faster than other higher education options. Employment opportunities available may be limited, however, especially among large advertising agencies or marketing companies. The jobs most readily available to those with associate degrees include office manager, store manager, and customer service representative.
Alternatively, graduates can choose to pursue further education by enrolling in bachelor’s degree programs. This is often recommended for those interested in more advanced employment opportunities. Additionally, most colleges and universities allow students to transfer credits from associate degrees to be applied toward their new undergraduate requirements. Many institutions accept between 60 and 90 credit hours from other accredited schools. This means that those with prior education may enter as juniors instead of freshmen and could graduate within as few as two additional years of instruction.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS)
Online BS degrees in marketing often consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately four years to complete. As another undergraduate degree, programs typically require students to take both general liberal arts and major-specific classes. Curriculums vary, but those enrolled can expect to expand upon previous learning while also receiving instruction in communication, digital marketing, product design, and marketing research. Some colleges and universities also offer opportunities to select concentration, which can grant access to more specialized classes within the field.
Most marketing professionals possess bachelor’s degrees, especially those who work in advertising, promotions, and marketing management. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the standard minimum education required by most employers in the field. Graduates often experience greater job security and receive higher salaries than those with associate degrees.
Those with bachelor’s degrees can also pursue further education by enrolling in graduate school. Many graduates do this to improve their employment prospects and pay in the future, as employers often give preference to candidates with more advanced degrees. Prospective students interested in master’s programs should be prepared to meet minimum grade point average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test score standards when applying.
Online Master's Degree in Marketing (MS)
Online MS degrees in marketing generally range from 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. These programs no longer incorporate general liberal arts education, instead focusing instruction solely on core subject areas. Although some topics may be repeated, students can expect more in-depth coverage of the most important concepts. Those enrolled may also be able to select concentrations to further specialize knowledge and skills.
Prospective students may also benefit from enrolling in a master of business administration (MBA) degree program. MBAs often place greater emphasis on the technical aspects of business planning and execution. Some also offer concentrations in marketing.
While not necessarily required for career success, a master’s degree in a related field can greatly improve employment prospects and pay potential. Graduates tend to have a wide variety of additional job opportunities and are more likely to qualify for supervisory roles. Some common professions include marketing executive, account director, product marketing manager, senior marketing manager, and search engine optimization director.
Online PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)
A PhD or doctorate in marketing generally consists of between 90 and 120 credit hours that take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Curriculums vary, but programs typically cover both quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as analytic measurements. Students can expect to receive traditional classroom instruction, in addition to completing independent study and research. Most colleges and universities require written dissertations and defense presentations prior to graduation.
While rarely required for the most common jobs in the field, this type of degree may be necessary for those pursuing employment in research and/or higher education. Graduates may also qualify for high-level jobs as marketing directors and chief marketing officers.
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Become a Marketing Manager in Rhode Island
With so many options to choose from, the first step to becoming a marketing professional in Rhode Island is determining which profession(s) you are most interested in. Researching the various jobs typically available will help you narrow your focus and ensures you pursue the right education, training, and work experience prior to applying. With employment opportunities offered across many different industries, it’s also advisable to keep your personal interests and aptitudes in mind when setting your ultimate career goals.
Additionally, majoring in marketing is not always necessary. Some employers are happy to hire graduates with degrees in similar or even seemingly unrelated subjects. Some of the most viable alternatives include advertising, journalism, communications, or computer information technology. You may also benefit professionally from adding a minor in one of these areas.
Once you have completed the necessary education requirements for your intended career, pursuing one or more professional certifications and/or licensures may also prove beneficial. There are numerous credentials available in marketing, as well as other related fields. Some jobs may even require candidates to possess certain certifications and/or licenses before they can be hired. Others give preference to professionals with extra credentials and, in some cases, increase their pay.
One of the most popular options among marking professionals is the Professional Certified Marketer (PMC) credential, which is managed by the American Marketing Association (AMA). Becoming a PMC demonstrates professional confidence and skill in marketing strategy, marketing research, data analytics, pricing strategy, customer behavior, and product/servicing positioning. AMA also offers a Digital Marketing Pro and Digital Marketing Expert certification.
Careers for Marketing Graduates
- Advertising Coordinator
Advertising coordinators identify the best ad strategies and work to organize media cohesively in order to draw consumer attention. They typically oversee scheduling for advertising campaigns, whether in print or on television. These professionals may also help finalize content and graphics for television, internet, and newspaper. According to PayScale, advertising coordinators make an average base salary of $45,450 per year.
- Account Manager
Account managers work to establish, maintain, and expand relationships with clients. They strive to provide accurate product and service details, while adhering to company policies, procedures, and guidelines. These professionals may also be asked to create and deliver presentations for important stakeholders. According to PayScale, account managers make an average base salary of $55,900 per year.
- Business Development Director
Business development directors assess the way goods and services are advertised in order to develop successful operational strategies and procedures. They often provide action plans designed to help campaigns reach wider markets. These professionals also negotiate with suppliers, fine-tune departmental procedures, or research potential legal matters as they arise. According to PayScale, business development directors make an average base salary of $105,900 per year.
- Digital Marketing Manager
Digital marketing managers ensure marketing project development plans align well with employer goals and values. They regularly coordinate departmental collaborations and verify that new media and digital marketing teams are meeting expectations. These professionals may also manage digital marketing efforts on social and digital media platforms. According to PayScale, digital marketing managers make an average base salary of $68,000 per year.
- Marketing Analyst
Marketing analysts use predictive statistics, customer profiling, and data analysis to provide businesses with insight regarding advertising efforts for products and services. They are often responsible for making marketing programs more effective. Using trend analysis, these professionals also work closely with others to identify potential initiatives and develop strategies to test overall performance. According to PayScale, marketing analysts make an average base salary of $57,050 per year.
- Marketing Manager
Marketing managers create advertising and/or merchandising sales campaigns. They often coordinate activities with product managers, as well as performing market research studies and program performance monitoring. These professionals can be responsible for single products, multiple products, whole brands, or entire companies. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,700 per year.
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- Merchandising Manager
Merchandising managers develop effective strategies to make managing merchandise easier. They are generally in charge of most day-to-day operations for logistics teams, and coordinate the necessary accommodations for products as they arrive. These professionals are also responsible for ensuring all specialized machinery maintains proper certification requirements. According to PayScale, merchandising managers make an average base salary of $65,500 per year.
- Senior Marketing Manager
Senior marketing managers oversee various products and/or services, coordinating development and brand management. They often recommend, create, and implement relevant campaigns, as well as analyzing program results in order to identify potential enhancements for future projects. According to PayScale, senior marketing managers make an average base salary of $100,050 per year.
- Special Events Manager
Special events managers attract new customers and clients by planning, organizing, and overseeing special events. Depending on the parameters, they may be responsible for completing a wide range of tasks. These professionals must find unique ways to deliver marketing materials to event participants, as well as provide follow-up information. According to PayScale, supply chain managers make an average base salary of $53,550 per year.